Bentley - Our Sweet Boy

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Twelve and a half years ago, I fell in love with a Golden Retriever and pretty easily talked Mike into bringing him home. We were living together, but not yet married and had no children. Bentley was our baby. He was a little ball of fluff that melted our hearts. 

Years went by and not without challenges, a broken paw, surgery and not always the most well behaved dog. We joked that he liked people more than other dogs because he would absolutely run circles around anyone who walked in the house or the yard! 

Then we had Olivia and I got overwhelmed with taking care of her and Mike took over the care of Bentley. Then Owen came along and for me, Bentley became just more work. He was a counter surfer or the food ninja as we called him. There were entire dinners or kids lunches eaten in the matter of seconds and I hate to say it now, but I just couldn't deal with him. 

As much as his naughtiness drove me crazy, I was grateful for how good he was with the kids. They could do anything to Bentley and especially Owen, tried it all, but Bentley never got mad. Most of the time he just laid there and took it, sometimes he would get up and walk away. For those years I always loved him for that. 

Then the kids got older and so did Bentley. Yes he still stole the occasional food, or lets face it, a lot of food. But we got a little better about guarding it, and I wasn't running off to a crying child and leaving plates as much. He was slowing down. People could come in the house and I didn't have to worry that he would knock them over. The kids didn't need my constant attention anymore and Bentley started to get more of my attention again. It's funny how it all comes full circle. I feel guilty sometimes when I think back, but honestly as a mom we are all just trying to make it through sometimes, am I right? 

Then one day last April he stopped eating, and started acting lethargic. We brought him to the vet to find out he had a urinary tract infection and a tumor on his spleen. Ugh. 

We fixed the urinary tract infection, but at 11 1/2 we were not going to put him through surgery to remove his spleen. Plus he had spots that appeared to be tumors in other places as well so surgery could have been for nothing, we would have been in the same position a month later.  A week later he collapsed and we thought it was over, but a short stint on prednisone, he was back to normal. We knew at that point May 2016, that any day that could change. 

Our boy gave us a whole year after that. We didn't think he would make it to his 12th birthday and he did. We are so grateful! 

Then one day we noticed he was sleeping a lot more than normal, slowing down a lot. He started to skip meals and if you knew Bentley, you knew he didn't skip meals. We let it go on for a while because he was otherwise happy, but I think we just didn't want to know. We knew what was happening. Finally when the meal skipping became more frequent, we brought him in. They did an ultrasound and found that the tumor on his spleen that was just small at the bottom, had taken over the entire thing. This was causing Bentley to be in pain, but also could rupture at any moment. This would have been horribly painful. We took our boy home with heavy heavy hearts and spoiled him rotten for a week before we brought him back to the vet for the last time to say goodbye. 

You know when you get a dog that someday it will come to this, but you don't realize how hard that day will be. Especially two kids later. Those kids loved their pup and to watch them learn this tough life lesson for the first time was devastating. To see my husband lose his "best friend" was also harder than I imagined. I just wanted to make sure all my people were OK, and that my Bentley was not in pain. I still expect to come around the corner and see him laying on the floor. I know it will be a while before that feeling stops. 

He was a part of our family and he is missed so much. Mike found this poem which I love and can't read it without tears coming to my eyes...

Have you a dog in Heaven, Lord? 
Is there room for just one more? 
Cause my little dog died today; He'll be waiting at your door. 
Please take him into Heaven, Lord and keep him there for me. 
Just feed him, pet him, love him, Lord, that's all he'll ask of Thee

We love you Bentley and I hope you are pain free, just swimming and eating with all your friends. As Owen says, we will see you again someday. 


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